Carl Bernstein is reporting that his sources at the White House have told him that Trump and the Republicans are planning to challenge the legitimacy of any close races in the midterms that go to the Democrats, filing challenges and lawsuits to create the appearance that they weren’t won fair and square. As always, every accusation is a confession.
Of course it is. He even challenged the legitimacy of his own victory in 2016, ludicrously claiming that there were 3-5 million illegal votes cast for Hillary Clinton, which meant he had really won the popular vote, not just the electoral college vote. And Trump is clearly laying the groundwork for such a claim again, though it seems obvious to me that he’s unwittingly setting himself up.
During an appearance on CNN, Bernstein said his sources relayed this information to him on Friday, warning that Trump has talked about a disruption campaign if the results are close but have the Democrats taking control of the House or Senate.
“I talked to people … in touch with the White House on Friday who believe that, if the congressional midterms are very close and the Democrats were to win by five or seven seats, that Trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory actually, and say that the election’s been illegitimate,” Bernstein said after being asked if Trump’s challenge to fraudulent voters was a form of voter suppression.
“That is really under discussion in the White House,” he added.
All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2018
Okay, so if you’re keeping a close eye on voter fraud and will prosecute anyone you catch at it, what happens when you only find a handful of such cases out of tens of millions of votes cast? Won’t that just prove that your claims about voter fraud are false? Of course it will. Not that his followers will care. This all comes down, as usual, to Trump’s ego. He finds the idea that he could ever lose or be unpopular that any loss simply must be a conspiracy, a con or a witch hunt. His ego won’t accept any other reality, so he just invents that one and pushes it relentlessly, evidence be damned.